Changing The Record: How Music’s Newest Star Is Encouraging Lads To Talk Mental Health

Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK and, figures from 2015 show that 75 percent of suicides were male. While in September it was announced that suicide rates amongst men in the UK are at their lowest for 30 years, a lot of work still needs to be done to combat this massive problem.

A lot of people who have experienced a death of a mate to suicide will understand the sense of confusion, as well as sheer grief, you go through following the news. This is something that North Shields musician, Sam Fender, who made BBC's Sound of 2018 and was recently featured in the new FIFA19 game, knows unfortunately all too well, as he tragically lost two friends to suicide.

Sam wrote his song 'Dead Boys' to come to terms with the loss of his two pals. Since releasing the song, Sam says the reaction has been incredible with people from around the country coming out to say they had lost loved ones in the same way and telling him they identified with the lyrics.

He now hopes that men will talk more openly about their feelings and mental health, telling us: "You're allowed to be a big, hard man. You can be a big muscly geezer. You can do all of them classic masculine roles but being able to talk isn't going to strip you of that.

"And being able to tell your son that talking is a good thing, and that crying is natural - I think that's the biggest thing men need to take on now, as we progress forward."

In our eyes Sam is a hero for encouraging lads to talk and using his music to carry on this important message. Kudos, sir and thank you for joining our UOKM8? campaign.

UOKM8? is a campaign by LADbible, featuring films and stories that provide advice and inspiration on mental health. Explore more here and don't suffer in silence. Let's talk mental health.

MIND: 0300 123 3393.

Samaritans: 116 123.

CALM: Outside London 0808 802 5858, inside London 0800 58 58 58.

Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist at LADbible. Claire graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a BA in journalism. She’s previously worked at Trinity Mirror. Since joining LADbible, Claire has worked on pieces for the UOKM8? mental health campaign, the Yemen crisis, life in the Calais Jungle as well as a profile of a man who is turning himself into a cyborg.

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